Top Resources for Native American Heritage Month

Library Resources | November 19, 2019

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On August 3, 1990, President of the United States George H. W. Bush declared the month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month, now commonly referred to as Native American Heritage Month.

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time when we honor the history and traditions of the continent’s first inhabitants. With many schools, libraries and organizations observing the month, and others who may be looking for ways to incorporate programming related to Native American heritage, here are some useful resources.

Collection Development

Visitors to the American Indian Library Association website will find a wealth of school library resources including booklists, blogs and projects devoted to the history and culture of Native Americans, as well as ideas for activities and programming. Librarians may also wish to consult these tips for choosing culturally appropriate books and resources about Native Americans.

Meanwhile, NoveList® Plus can help librarians find fiction and nonfiction celebrating Native American characters and culture. If you’re looking to add new books by and about Native Americans to your library shelves, Core Collections has great recommendations for you. Here are just a few:

  • Fry Bread, written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
    Maillard and Martinez-Neal’s picture book celebrates the titular food and the many forms it takes among different Native communities.
  • Trickster: Native American Tales, edited by Matt Dembicki
    In this collection for tweens and teens, 24 Native authors team with 24 artists to share trickster stories from several different traditions.
  • LaRose, by Louise Erdrich
    When he accidentally kills his neighbor’s young son in a hunting accident, Landreaux Iron turns to an ancient means of retribution and offers his own son LaRose to the grieving parents.
  • The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee, by David Treuer
    Treuer provides a sweeping, readable history of Native cultures surviving and adapting since Wounded Knee, countering their traditional erasure from narratives of 20th- and 21st-century American history.

If you’re planning to expand your library’s e-book collection, EBSCO’s K-8 Native American Heritage eBook Collection contains fiction and nonfiction e-books written by and about Native Americans.

Academic Research

Need to provide researchers with bibliographic information on North America’s indigenous peoples? Look no further than EBSCO’s Bibliography of Native North Americans, a database containing more than 330,000 citations for books, essays, journal articles and government documents of the United States and Canada. It is an ideal resource for anthropologists, educators, historians, political scientists, sociologists, psychologists, legal researchers, linguists, theologians and policy makers.

K-12 Resources for Teaching and Learning

The Native American Heritage Month website has a teacher section featuring ready-to-use lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids. The National Education Association website also includes lessons and activities for exploring Native American culture. The Native Knowledge 360° site, from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, includes an Essential Understandings framework to help teachers create meaningful student learning experiences.

Meanwhile, the Library of Congress offers a variety of blog posts that explore teaching about Native American history and culture using primary sources. Students can learn about Native American newspapers and read oral histories of Native American veterans who served in the U.S. military from World War II to Iraq. There is also a collection of Native American Themed Resources with essays, music, maps and images.

ABC-CLIO’s The American Mosaic: The American Indian Experience, available from EBSCO, provides in-depth historical accounts and cultural information about more than 500 American Indian nations. ABC-CLIO’s History Hub educator support center provides subscribers with resources for classroom and library integration.

Want to learn more about ABC-CLIO’s The American Mosaic: The American Indian Experience?

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